Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Franno and Smith are back in right back competition

Adam Smith found himself left out of the starting line up at Newcastle. I had expected him to play, but the need to try and keep Francis in the team as captain I feel is now becoming a struggle when there are more than two centre-backs to choose from.
Adam Smith was used as an impact sub in the Newcastle match.
We may find that Adam Smith was not entirely fully fit enough to play 90 minutes and while he did come on towards the end of the game, it was in more of a right midfield position and we know he does well there in driving forward and cutting inside. Adam is one of the players that I don't believe gets the recognition he deserves in the team. But the position of right back he has pretty-well made his own up to this point when Simon Francis moved to centre-back.
Simon Francis has been pushed out of his centre-back role.
Now the two players look to be going head-to-head again for the same position, because the competition at centre-back is so strong with AkΓ© and Cook's form predominantly the best at the moment. When Tyrone Mings comes back it is going to be even harder to win a place in the heart of defence. But for me it should come down to who is making fewest mistakes and at the moment Francis is probably lucky to be keeping his starting place.

Eddie Howe said there is no place for sentiment in the Premier League, but his choices of who to play have resided with the players that have got the team to the Premier League. It is possible now though that he can see he is going to be unable to ensure that this remains the case. Francis is not the only player under pressure and I suppose we should be pleased that there is now more competition, but I find the amount of changes to the team every week is not always in the best interests of player confidence and Eddie needs to assess sometimes what impact all the swapping and changing is making to player confidence.

In other news, the Republic of Ireland were crushed 1-5 in their second leg World Cup play-off by Denmark so Harry Arter, who was subbed at half time, misses out on the finals in Russia. Lewis Cook was an unused sub in England's 0-0 draw with Brazil.

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